News

9 July 2018

Tractor sales up across all sectors

Sales of tractors are up more than 25% on this time last year and all sectors are showing buoyancy, says new NZ Tractor and Machinery Association (TAMA) president, John Tulloch.
TAMA year-to-date figures to the end of June showed a total of 1,876 sales across all HP categories compared to 1,448 in 2017: a total increase of 26.1%.
Mr Tulloch, who was elected at the Mystery Creek Fieldays in May, said sales were back at near 2014 levels, but instead of favouring agriculture as back then, there was also increased spending within the lifestyle, viticulture and horticulture markets.
“It’s rare to see every sector relatively buoyant at the same time. All the stars seem to be lining up so, bar a big shock, the outlook is definitely positive across the board.”
He said, however, agricultural customers were being cautiously optimistic rather than going on big spending spree. There were concerns about the regulatory framework on water use and emissions, and the impacts of mycoplasma bovis.
“But the main reason for cautious spending in this sector is a healthy scepticism learned the hard way around forecast payouts as they don’t always eventuate. Our sheep, beef and dairy export markets have all improved and while numbers of people attending Fieldays were up, most of our members reported that actual sales prospects were down. Farmers and contractors don’t want to over commit themselves financially and see a repeat of the 2015 downturn.”
Despite some caution, overall sales were looking very healthy and if the trajectory continued, tractor and machinery sales could possibly hit a new record high by the end of the year.
“We might be heading towards a record year but, like our customers, are being cautiously optimistic. As everyone well knows, we have no control over our climate and what it throws at us. But we’re hoping to see these numbers continue.”

2 February 2018

Farm machinery sales back to 2014 levels

Sales of tractors in 2017 had increased markedly, just topping the previous highest recorded levels of 2014, says NZ Tractor and Machinery Association (TAMA) General Manager, Ron Gall.

However, Mr Gall said the association recognised that some farmers in both islands were currently experiencing hardship with the very hot and dry conditions. The challenging drought conditions may affect sales in the coming months but it was hoped changing weather would provide some relief.

Mr Gall said in 2017, a total of 4079 tractors were sold. This is up 13% on 2016, up 14% on 2015 and even slightly up on the boom dairy year of 2014, which had 4062 sales.

Sales were particularly strong in the dairy areas of Waikato, Taranaki, Manawatu, Canterbury and Southland and in the horticulture, viticulture and arable areas of Northland, Hawkes Bay, Nelson and Marlborough.

Otago, home to dairy and horticulture and viticulture, experienced particularly impressive growth, with a 28% increase on 2016. The biggest increase on last year’s sales was Taranaki with 214 sales in 2017 compared to 158 in 2016, representing a 35% boost. Combined, the areas of North, Mid and South Canterbury had a 22% increase on 2016.

Mr Gall said the increased sales reflected the improved dairy forecast payout along with steady growth in horticulture and viticulture.

According to TAMA’s biennual industry value and employment survey, the total number of people employed in the tractor and farm machinery sales and servicing sector had also increased. There has been a 14% increase since 2015 – from 2492 to 2846 roles. Nearly 40% of those employed earned salaries of more than $75,000.

Of respondents to the survey, 57% said they had difficulties hiring staff and 19% had hired migrants.

“The machinery/technology sector offers innovative and well-paid jobs with a strong career pathway, including senior roles in sales and business management. TAMA is looking at options to profile the industry as a rewarding career choice for young people,” Mr Gall said.

29 November 2017

Strong farm machinery sales herald strong 2018

Sales of tractors are strong and the farm machinery sector is employing more workers, demonstrating a positive outlook in the primary industry, says NZ Tractor and Machinery Association (TAMA) President, Roger Nehoff.

Mr Nehoff said in the year to date (end of October) the total number of tractor sales was up about 11% on the year before with some regions up by 45 to 50%. Overall sales were 3164, compared with 2849 for the same period in 2016 and 2978 in 2015.

In addition, the total number of people employed in the tractor and farm machinery sales and servicing sector had increased by more than 350 since 2015 and was now at 2846.

Mr Nehoff said the increased sales reflected the improved dairy forecast payout in the dairy market with particularly strong growth in Waikato, Taranaki, Mid Canterbury, South Canterbury, Otago and Southland.

“Sales in South Canterbury have increased by 50% while Taranaki saw a 45% growth. Mid Canterbury is up by 40%, Otago by 30% and the Waikato by 20%. These figures show farmers have confidence in the future and are making the requisite investments in their machinery.”

After a steady couple of years, sales in the traditional dairy, sheep and beef regions were slightly higher than they were in 2013, he said.

The regions of Northland, East Cape, Hawkes Bay, Wairarapa and Nelson also experienced slightly increased sales of between 5% and 10%, indicating stability in the horticulture, arable farming and viticulture sectors, despite a wet and cold winter.

TAMA members were also taking on new staff and had jobs on offer.

TAMA board member John Tulloch of Tulloch Machinery said he had added two new employees in parts, one new sales apprentice and was currently seeing an additional tractor technician.

“My situation reflects what’s happening with other members. In fact, a good number of our members have reported that they’re having difficulties in hiring qualified staff,” Mr Tulloch said.

This job growth bodes well for the future of the primary sector and 2018 is looking set to be another strong year, Mr Nehoff said.

“This time last year TAMA was saying that tractor manufacturers were positive about 2017 as shown in their investment in R&D to improve technology, reduce maintenance costs and meet emission standards. Subsequent sales have proven that our sector was spot on with its optimism,” he said.

29 May 2017

Tractor sales show confidence in primary industry continues

Sales of tractors are remaining steady in the year to date compared to last year, demonstrating continuing confidence within the primary industry, says NZ Tractor and Machinery Association (TAMA) Vice President, Roger Nehoff.

Mr Nehoff said in the four months to the end of April, the total number of tractor sales was 803 compared to 796 during the same period in 2016, demonstrating that overall New Zealand’s primary industry was stable and coping with weather events and any volatility in the global markets.

The YTD figures, compiled by TAMA, show sales increases in the horticulture and viticulture industries in Northland, Hawke’s Bay and Marlborough. There was a sales decrease in the Bay of Plenty and Auckland, however.

“In spite of the adverse weather events, the growth in horticulture and viticulture looks set to continue, especially with the current kiwifruit boom, expansion of apple production and continuing growth in the New Zealand wine industry.”

Tractor sales in Marlborough had increased nearly 120% compared to January through April last year while sales in the Hawke’s Bay had increased by 50%. This was driven by the planting of more grapes and the need to replace an aging fleet.

Several traditional dairy, sheep and beef regions (Taranaki, Otago and Central North Island) are reflecting the positive signals in the economy with growth. Among the standouts was Taranaki, whose tractor sales almost doubled compared with the same period last year. This is considered to be due to confidence lifting with dairy farming customers, coupled with the need to replace or update aging machinery prior to winter.

Mr Nehoff said, overall, tractor manufacturers were positive about 2017.

Anecdotal feedback from farmers at the recent field days in Feilding and Kirwee was that there was more confidence in the market and this would be reflected in farmers replacing machinery.

8 November 2016
Tractor sales bode well for New Zealand primary sector

Sales of tractors are remaining relatively buoyant, demonstrating a positive outlook in the primary industry, says NZ Tractor and Machinery Association President, Mark Hamilton-Manns.

Mr Hamilton-Manns said year to date (end of September) the total number of tractor sales was 2,381 and this was on a par with 2012 (2,389) demonstrating that overall New Zealand’s primary industry was stable and was weathering volatility in the global dairy markets. The YTD figures compiled by the Association, show sales only declined slightly overall, by 6%, on the same period in 2015.

Several segments and regions saw sales increases such as the horticulture and viticulture industries in Northland, Auckland, the Bay of Plenty, Hawke’s Bay and Nelson. “Growth in horticulture and viticulture looks set to continue. Tractor sales in the Bay of Plenty have increased more than 50% in the last year with the continued success of the kiwifruit and avocado sectors. Sales in the Nelson region increased by 30% driven by the buoyant viticulture and horticulture segments.”

Mr Hamilton-Manns said Hawke’s Bay sales had increased by 16% and this was just the start of the increase as orchardists were expecting to triple the number of apples planted over the next few years and this would be reflected in investment in tractors and other associated machinery.

The consumer segment had increased about 13% during the year as residential customers purchased smaller 20–60hp compact tractors for their lifestyle blocks. Additional sales volumes were recognised in hire fleets and some commercial applications.

Meanwhile, the Large Ag segment which covers 251–375hp tractors grew by 15%. These larger tractors are used for a range of operations including cultivation and ground preparation, seeding, or involved in hay and silage making in support of dairy, sheep and beef farming operations.

Mr Hamilton-Manns said tractor manufacturers were positive about 2017 as shown in the heavy investment in research and development to improve technology, reduce maintenance costs and meet emission standards.
While sales in the traditional dairy segment (100–120 horsepower tractors) had declined overall in the last year by 17.5%, dairy farmers were showing that they’re cautiously optimistic as many were still buying. “What we have noticed is that dairy farmers are focused on good value for money deals when buying tractors. They’re looking around for the best interest and maintenance deals, often delaying purchase for several months while they do. Farmers know that newer tractors are more fuel efficient and attract lower maintenance costs so buyers get a good return on investment with new machines.